Obama Adm. Position on ACA Contraception Coverage Establishes State Religion

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion…”

-the first ten words of the first amendment to the United States Constitution

One of the major advancements in fairness bought about by the Affordable Care Act is the requirement that health insurance policies must provide coverage for contraception. This is one of those areas on which health insurers have saved a fortune and increased profits by hundreds of millions, if not billions, of dollars, by omitting needed benefis from coverage, in a way similar to refusing to cover non-medically needed plastic surgery procedures. There is much more need throughout the population for contraceptives, and it involves long-term use, as opposed to more limited though more expensive cosmetic surgery procedures.

As discussed in a couple of prior posts, there are pending two matters before the US Supreme Court on this issues, and last week Justice Sonia Sotomayor issued a temporary

stay to any requirement that the Little Sisters of the Poor may have had to provide their employees coverage for contraception in their health insurance polices into the future.

Yesterday, Donald Verrilli, Jr., US Solicitor General, filed his brief in response to the arguments made by the Little Sisters in obtaining the stay. His response should turn the stomach of every American with knowledge and respect for the true meaning of the United States Constitution, and not some 21st century version that is bent, folded, stapled, and reconfigured to fit the needs of the gun-toting right wing

religious bigots of the teapublican party.

His argument was that the administration had previously exempted church-related organizations from the requirement of providing contraceptive coverage in the polices, giving the right to employees themselves to obtain separate coverage for that benefit alone. He further argued that since this was the actual law, the issue presented by the Little Sisters is a moot point, and their suit thus has no grounds upon which to proceed.

Counsel for the Little Sisters argued in their papers that the religious beliefs of employers are just as trampled upon by giving such rights to their employees as in forcing employers themselves to provide such benefits. This is just as ludicrous an argument as was made by LA County Supervisors Michael Antonovich and Don Knabe in arguing that a cross should adorn the LA County seal because there is now one on the Mission that is depicted on the seal.

What Virrelli failed to argue was that by not upholding the provision of the ACA as originally written, passed by Congress and effectuated by federal regulations (as are all

Decorative Ceiling Tiles - From Plain to Beautiful in Hours

federal laws), requiring ALL subject employers to provide contraception in their insurance coverage was in fact the United States Government establishing the Catholic Church as the state church, requiring US employees to abide by the tenants of the Catholic Church and not use contraception. It is requiring that all such employees follow the religious beliefs of the Catholic bosses of some, abandon their own personal, moral, religious and/or secular beliefs, and blindly follow what is now not just the state religion, but a religion as interpreted by a new super class of theocrats, who create religious dogma for all the country to follow.

In the late 1950s and early 1960, many people were afraid that if John F. Kennedy were elected President of the United States, the Catholic church would gain a measure of control over our

government. I remember as a youngster not yet aware of the nasty, deceitful nature of politics, hearing my brain-washed aunt say that if he were elected, the Pope would be running the government. In response to such fears, Kennedy made one of the great speeches ever given by a US President. On Sep. 12, 1960, just a few weeks before the election, before the Greater Houston Ministerial Association, he told the world that there should be a wall of separation between the government and the church, and went on to say these words that are so applicable to this issue*:

“I believe in an America that is officially neither Catholic, Protestant nor Jewish — where no public official either requests or accepts instructions on public policy from the Pope, the National Council of Churches or any other ecclesiastical source — where no religious body seeks to impose its will directly or indirectly upon the general populace or the public acts of its officials — and where religious liberty is so indivisible that an act against one church is treated as an act against all.”

By giving veto power to Catholic, and other religious zealots, to control the kinds of benefits included in employee health insurance coverage based solely on religious dogma, is the government imposing the will of a religion over that of the citizen, in effect, establishing a state religion.
*The complete speech can be found here. Everyone should read it in its entirety.

About theHoundDawg

For many years as a lawyer, I saw much of the good and bad of society, and did what I could to right many wrongs. The lack of understanding of what is good and bad, right and wrong, just and unjust, as evidenced by such events as the election of King W as president, (who as such far surpassed the evil of richard nixon but not quite that of ronald reagan) lead me in a new direction, to spend my time trying to understand what is happening to our society, to try as best I can to spread my insights to others, and along the way to maybe even eke out a living through the internet.
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